Spanish-Style Beef Brisket
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 7 HRS plus overnight marinating
- SERVINGS: 12
Bruce Aidells recommends letting the brisket rest in the braising liquid overnight, then reheating the sliced meat in its sauce, which will have thickened as it rested. "This is one recipe that's actually better the next day," he says. He also likes to make this sherry-spiked brisket with bison, which has a sweeter, richer flavor than beef.
- 2 tablespoons sweet pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 61/2-pound beef brisket
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- Large pinch of saffron threads
- 1 1/2 cups dry sherry
- 1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mix the paprika with 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of black pepper and. Rub the seasonings all over the brisket. Heat the oil in a large roasting pan set over 2 burners. Add the brisket and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a platter.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, sherry vinegar, thyme, bay leaves, saffron and the sherry and bring to a boil over high heat. Return the brisket to the pan and cover tightly with foil. Braise in the oven for 3 hours or until tender, turning the meat once and basting it occasionally with the pan juices. Add the olives after the first 1 1/2 hours.
- Transfer the brisket to a platter and cover with foil. Strain the pan juices into a large saucepan, reserving the olive-and-onion mixture. Spoon off the fat. Boil the juices until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Return the olive-onion mixture to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper.
- Thinly slice the brisket across the grain and return to the roasting pan, keeping the shape of the brisket intact. Spoon the pan juices on top. Cover with foil and braise for 25 minutes, until heated through and very tender. Serve the brisket in its juices.
Several top California producers have started experimenting with Spanish grape varieties such as Tempranillo; its bright cherry fruit and medium body make it ideal for this Spanish-influenced brisket.